Our main character starts her/his day on a bed made from cotton picked by machines from plants grown thousands of kilometers away.
She might have stayed up late watching a documentary about pink dolphins in the Amazon and imagined herself riding one that wasn’t-quite-right and based partly on the RGB cartoon memory of something she might have remembered seeing once as a child – if she were to have taken a moment to think about where that part of her dream might have come from.
Pulling himself off similarly sourced cotton our main character might have quickly brushed his teeth with an ergonomic implement made of neon and white plastic that was refined in a factory that intakes and secretes water like a human body. He may have squirted the same water between his teeth to dislodge a piece of last night’s late night pretzel.
In their respective apartments, they might have checked their canoe reservation using a device sending unseen waves that jettison stories sailing at light speed to other similarly enhanced beings sending their very gestures anywhere, instantaneously.
The maple syrup she drowns her buttermilk pancakes this morning may have ended up on this particular uncharacteristically frugal person’s grocery bill thanks largely to a graphic design technique developed decades earlier inside an agency in New York, recycled last year by an intern in Buffalo and accidentally printed askew on a label-printing machine in Laval.
Our main character arrives in a 2010 KIA Sedona, on a 1985 Raleigh grandma bike, or the #10. They take a short walk. They will have seen the sign for BoniVital pool and pondered a swim, briefly. They will have passed Poulin’s and thought about what they should/could exterminate next. They may have pointed their car-bike-knees down Des Meurons, seen the street sign and contemplated death again briefly thanks to a combination of vague etymological understanding, a complete lack of historical context and a trailing remnant of high school french.
The main characters arrive on scene furtively. Unsure. She becomes aware of the unconventional venue. The lighting starts to soak in and the ambient sound, even though she knows it was always there, appears and starts to become clearer. She begins to wonder where the theatre is. Patches of darkness, perhaps evoking curtains, start to hide things. Fluttering leaves begin to foreshadow something. Snapping twigs. Surely the way of introducing a secondary character. Perhaps a sidekick. Perhaps a rival. Perhaps a stagehand. Maybe just a squirrel.
Suddenly it dawns on him. He has travelled in time. The landscape in front of him is so different than the landscape he travelled to get here, but he knows, that, physically, he is in the same place.
She reels slightly. Disoriented. Grips just a little more strongly onto the paddle seeking stability but finding only liquid. Her phone is still in her pocket. It probably would bridge a connection, ironically, to the real world, but she doesn’t want to touch it. Not really. For fear of shattering a spell. But spells are silly. They don’t exist.
He has a brief memory of that pink dolphin again (was it his memory or someone else’s?) but doesn’t really realize that the memory is still happening. The dolphin is abstracted now – the slippery, veiny nostril silently breaking the surface like a reflection on the act of seeing something before it actually happens like that person you stumble into randomly that probably should surprise you but doesn’t because for some reason it makes more sense that you just predicted the future even if only ever so slightly.
A slight chill in the air erases any dolphin metaphors – at least ones without fur – just as fur becomes visible on the horizon. Wait. Is that a television? And is that a golfer?
Tic. Tink. Whirr. White noise.
Just as the absurdity of modernity begins to fade, there it is.
Around the next corner, and we are a thousand years old again.